Anarcho-environmentalism allegorised

The name Anaarkali in the present context has many meanings - Anaar symbolises the anarchism of the Bhils and kali which means flower bud in Hindi stands for their traditional environmentalism. Anaar in Hindi can also mean the fruit pomegranate which is said to be a panacea for many ills as in the Hindi idiom - "Ek anar sou bimar - One pomegranate for a hundred ill people"! - which describes a situation in which there is only one remedy available for giving to a hundred ill people and so the problem is who to give it to. Thus this name indicates that anarcho-environmentalism is the only cure for the many diseases of modern development! Similarly kali can also imply a budding anarcho-environmentalist movement. Finally according to a legend that is considered to be apocryphal by historians Anarkali was the lover of Prince Salim who was later to become the Mughal emperor Jehangir. Emperor Akbar did not approve of this romance of his son and ordered Anarkali to be bricked in alive into a wall in Lahore in Pakistan but she escaped. Allegorically this means that anarcho-environmentalists can succeed in bringing about the escape of humankind from the self-destructive love of modern development that it is enamoured of at the moment and they will do this by simultaneously supporting women's struggles for their rights.

Friday, August 15, 2008

A False Independence

Today is the sixtyfirst independence day of India but even so hundreds of poor people across the country are languishing in jails where they have been stuffed for protesting against the unjust displacement policies of the state. Most of these unfortunate citizens are tribals who have borne the brunt of modern development. Our idea of independence is to celebrate the achievements of our tycoons and sportspersons and totally ignore the sufferings of the poor. Thus it would not be an exaggeration to say that the independence that we will ritually celebrate today is a false one. In the Narmada valley thousands upon thousands of people are a whisker away from being displaced without adequate rehabilitation and resettlement protected tenuously by orders of the High and Supreme Courts.

Above are a few Bhil adivasi children, visibly malnourished at present, even prior to their displacement. What is their future going to be after displacement when they will lose even the minimal resource bases which they now have?
Freedom is contingent on having the opportunities to live a meaningful life. Sixty years of independence have deprived the Bhil adivasis of their freedom by denying them a meaningful life.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sensitivity, like peace is a fragile thing. Sixty years is not a long period to cultivate something that ought to be time-less. On what can one pin one's hope that apathy shall one day turn to concern?